5 winter driving tips to keep you safe, not sliding

(BPT) – What do you love most about winter? Is it the skiing and the sledding, the trips to the winter carnivals or seasonal get-togethers? There’s plenty to love about winter — and often that means driving out to enjoy those things.

With sleet, snow and ice, winter weather can make your driving experience worrisome this time of year. But you don’t have to sacrifice your favorite winter activities just because of winter road conditions. Follow the five winter driving tips below and you’ll be able to focus on the moments that make this season great.

* Slow down. Sometimes the simplest tips are also the most effective. When you’re out on the road, reducing your speed by 50 percent during snowy weather is advised, just be sure you don’t slow down too much. Your car must maintain its momentum to avoid getting stuck in the snow.

* Have the right vehicle for the job. Nothing is worse than feeing unsafe in your car when bad weather hits. That’s why it is important to choose the right vehicle: one that is ready to take on wet and slick driving when winter weather strikes. The stylish and roomy Subaru Legacy comes standard with all-wheel drive, a feature that helps provide peace of mind when faced with difficult road conditions. The Legacy also comes available with Subaru EyeSight technology, an accident avoidance system that includes pre-collision braking, lane departure and sway warnings and rear cross traffic alert; all designed to provide an extra set of eyes and help keep you safe no matter where your winter travels take you.

* Keep in touch. When traveling on winter roads, particularly over long distances, it’s good to alert others to your trip plans. Call loved ones and let them know where you are going, when you will leave and when you plan to arrive. This keeps those waiting for you in the know in case of an emergency so they can help if needed. And don’t forget to provide periodic updates during your trip so loved ones can rest easy.

* Know how to handle a skid. Despite taking proper precautions, you still may find yourself sliding on an icy road. When you start to feel your vehicle enter a skid, don’t panic and just remember a few key techniques. First, take your foot off the gas – this will help to slow down and makes it easier to control the vehicle. In addition to laying off the gas, fight the urge to slam on the brakes but tap the brake pedal lightly and frequently. This helps to regain some traction and also slow the car down. Last, but certainly not least, lightly turn the wheel in the direction of the swerve to help guide the car toward that direction, this will prevent the car from entering a spin. As a final tip, look in the direction you want to go, rather than fixating on what you are trying to avoid; it really does help.

* Pack a winter weather kit. Sometimes, despite all your preparation, winter weather can still leave you stranded. If this should happen to you, it’s good to be prepared. Pack a winter weather kit and keep it in the back of your car for such emergencies. Your kit should include a backup phone battery and charger, blankets, water, protein bars, a de-icer, a flashlight, a tow rope, radio and cat litter — in case your tires need a little extra traction. Hopefully you’ll never have to use any of these items, but should you get stuck, you’ll be happy you planned ahead.

Braving through tough winter weather doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying your favorite seasonal activities with friends and family. Utilizing proper safety habits, packing the right supplies and choosing the right vehicle will help ensure you reach your destination safely to create winter memories that last a lifetime. To learn more about how the Subaru Legacy can keep you safe on the road this winter, visit Subaru.com.

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